It’ is a simple question, who is going to take care of you? As we live our lives, we could think of many people who take care of us. Our mother takes care of us when we are born, as a young person mom and dad help each other in taking care of us. As school starts, there are teachers. And as we grow older, there are professors, mentors, drill instructors (if you’re in the military), wives, kids of your own, and many others.

With all these people there watching out for you, You might think that you can sit back and relax. Unfortunately, that is not always true. A question you should ask yourself is, why are all these people helping me? Then, are these people doing this for my benefit? Or do they want something?

I do not like to bear less than overwhelmingly good news; however, most people have agendas, which causes them to come out on the positive side of interactions. It’s not that they’re mean or evil; everyone who needs something will find a way to get it.

Parents want bragging rights. They want you to do fantastically well. Or at least they want you to do better than the new baby that was born down the block. As you go to school, your teachers want you to do very well. It is so that they can show how good they are as teachers, yet you earn all the A’s. If you were only a C student, then they want you to work hard and bring your grades up to A’s. That makes the teacher look even better.

As you go through life, your bosses, your drill instructor in the military, your families all want you to do very well. You are creating for them distinction, sales, status, and wealth. These actions do not make them evil; it only makes them what we all are, human.

I do not mention this to discourage you. I tell you this so that when you take the advice and thoughts of everyone else, be sure to listen to yourself. What do you want? How do you want to get there? And what are the deepest desires that you hold within you.? After all, who takes care of you?  You do.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

What’s your story?

Do you know your own story? Most of us can remember some of the critical points. You need to be able to talk sensibly about the important who, what, where and when. Can you give someone your story in about 90 seconds?

I thought I could until the one day a new college president found out that I was finishing a Masters degree in adult education. He looked at me and said, “Tell me your story?” I’ve done a lot with my life. But at that point, with the question coming out of the blue, I found it hard to tell him something that made sense.

I’ve had an exciting life, I was an Eagle Scout, I was in the Air Force for almost 22 years where I worked on five of the seven continents. I built computers for Apple. I have taught people how to use computers, how to find jobs, and how to write resumes.

I was a process engineer who designed the assembly lines, and the process is to build the computers. I have tracked satellites, modified satellite ground stations and worked in research and development. I have an Associate in Applied Science in Electronic Systems Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and finally a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training. Getting caught flat-footed, how could I put everything understandably in 90 seconds or less?

The trick is to actually think about it and practice beforehand. If I’m going to talk to the head of a technical college, I may need to emphasize different points than I would if I had to speak to a manufacturing vice president. It is not that I’m hiding anything, or over exaggerating certain aspects, I just need to talk to what they’re interested in when they ask.

Getting caught flat-footed was my own fault. We never know when an important question will come or what setting it will be. If we think about the questions that could be asked, by whom and where then we can be prepared. Running over them in our mind from time to time, just to keep them fresh is good. Taking 10 minutes a week to practice it a couple of times is even better.

There is a saying I hear a lot that talks about people not caring what you know until they know how you care. Sometimes you will never even know that people are watching you as you do something good for someone else. They see that you care and want to know more about you. Most life-changing moments are serendipitous and come out of the blue. You may not know when they’re coming, yet we can fall back on our scout training.

Be Prepared!

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